In addition to working with Adobe Create to give away this set of Impressionist and pastel color-blending Photoshop brushes, I want to share two brush techniques that have completely changed the way I paint in Photoshop. Whether you’re a designer, an illustrator, or a hobbyist, you can do more than you realize with the power of Photoshop brushes, and the best part is that these features are already in Photoshop…you just might not be using them yet!
Photoshop Technique Number One: Color-Blending Impressionist Brush Strokes via the Pattern Stamp Tool
Step 1: Install the Brushes
The first download includes brushes, patterns, and two images with palettes you can sample from. Double-click on the .abr file you downloaded to install the brushes (first make sure Photoshop is open). Alternatively, you can open the Brushes window (Windows > Brushes), click on the menu in the top right corner, and select Import Brushes.
Photoshop Technique Number Two: Loading Multiple Colors into the Mixer Brush to Create Dimensional Brush Strokes
You can create more natural, textural, and dimensional brushstrokes simply by loading multiple colors into the Photoshop Mixer brush. The second set of color-blending brushes that we’re giving away includes six brushes from my upcoming Pastel-ish collection, inspired by wet and dry pastels. They provide lots of great texture and natural color-blending effects. Watch the tutorial video (below) to see how to load and use the brushes, and also learn how you can sample directly from images to create the illusion of depth and dimension in your brush strokes (steps are written out below).
Step 1: Install the Brushes
Double-click on the .abr file you downloaded to install the brushes (first make sure Photoshop is open). Alternatively, you can open the Brushes window (Windows > Brushes), click on the menu in the top right corner, and select Import Brushes. If you are using an older version of Photoshop, load the .tpl file via the tool presets window.
Loading up multiple colors will make your brush strokes more natural and give the illusion of depth. Be sure that the Load Solid Colors Only option isn’t selected in the dropdown menu next to the pickup well preview. If you want to zoom in on a specific color region in your image, lower your brush size when you are loading your paint onto your brush until it is just the size of the area you want to sample colors from. Alt- or option-click to load the colors; then you can resize your brush back to the size you want after you have loaded those colors.
Step 3: Paint Pastels That Pop
Now it’s time to start painting! Have fun experimenting with blending the various pastel inspired brushes and creating dimensional and textural brush strokes using this method. If you want a particular brush stroke to stand out when you paint on top of your image, just click the Dry, Heavy Load option in the top menu to keep that stroke from blending in with the other colors on that layer! (Here is a bonus download: a pattern file that contains a canvas texture.) You can apply this texture over your background layer with the Blend mode set to Overlay, Multiply, or Linear Burn on a low opacity to give your design or illustration an extra-realistic look, as it is the same texture within the brushes!